Day 3 of Lakbay Norte 2b ends at Kapuluan Vista Resort in Ilocos Norte. While the group will continue on to Adams, this is my last stop with the group, as I need to fly back to Manila the following day. It was dark when we finally rolled into Mairaira, and we were all speculating just how bad the weather would be in the coming days, judging by the fierce winds.
What we Manileños thought as typhoon signal number 3 was merely the amihan or the northeast monsoon that whips around the region this time of the year. The gale, coupled with a light drizzle was enough to plant paranoid thoughts into our minds. Our previous experience with the rains in Cagayan did not help to ease our worry.
Jumping out of the bus, our way to the resort’s entrance was lit only by the headlights. We walked as fast as we dared, careful not to slip on the wet floor. Inside, we were welcomed warmly by the resort’s crew, led by owners Mike and Alma Oida. The young Filipino-American couple has been running the resort since 2006, back when there was hardly any developments in the area (there are still hardly any developments in Blue Lagoon). It has since been a favorite amongst those who have stayed (they even managed to impress Market Man) or dropped by for a meal.
While the East-meets-West design of the buildings and rooms are certainly unique and appealing, as well as its location in Mairaira cove are clear winners in any traveler’s book, it was the people of Kapuluan that makes you appreciate the place even more. Everybody in the resort is so friendly, from the owners to the staff, even down to the two resident toy poodles, Drew and Julia.
Another thing that draws people to Kapuluan Vista Resort is its restaurant. Serving a variety of unique and healthy dishes usually featuring ingredients from the resort’s organic garden, the restaurant not only have great food, but great drinks as well. The welcome margarita that is laced with lambanog instead of the usual tequila or vodka was a big hit to those who tried, while dinner was met with plenty of pleasant murmurs of praise (after taking a gazillion photos of each plate, of course). The most memorable food for me though, was the resort’s take on the buko pandan. Fresh coconut meat strips and pandan flavored jelly are put on top of homemade vanilla ice cream, instead of the heavy and sickeningly sweet cream-condensed milk concoction that traditionally makes up this local dessert.
The restaurant also serves as the common area of the resort where guests can chill out and go online (because it’s the resort’s only Wi-fi zone). Another way to pass the time is learning (or in our case, re-learning) how to play sungka, or if you’re into active pursuits, learn how to surf.
Kapuluan was the perfect end to my Lakbay Norte 2, even if we weren’t able to enjoy the white sand beaches of Pagudpud. The yummy food, the great company, the warm reception from the owners, the attentiveness of the staff and the adorable Julia made the 12-hour stay memorable.
Kapuluan Vista Resort
Sitio Baniaran, Barangay Balaoi
Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Phone: +639209522528, +639209285273
Before you travel, book yourself Annual Travel Insurance, this protects you whilst your away from any unexpected situations